We investigate whether audit committees use voluntary disclosures to signal the committees' higher level of involvement in the audit partner-selection process, which contributes to higher levels of audit quality. Audit committees more involved in the partner-selection process should ensure the selection of a more rigorous partner. We test this conjecture by first identifying partners new to audit engagements. We then compare audit quality for companies whose audit committees disclose involvement in the selection of the new partner to those without this disclosure. We find that this disclosure is positively associated with audit quality (measured using discretionary accruals, misstatements, and meeting consensus analyst forecasts by a very small margin). Our results are more salient for complex companies and those with powerful audit committees. These findings highlight that audit committees use their disclosures to signal involvement in the partner-selection process and are relevant to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Data Availability: The data used in this paper are publicly available from the sources indicated in the text.
JEL Classifications: M41; M48.